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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 24404
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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2year old. lethargic - started 2 weeks ago. ate ok. unk if

Customer Question

2year old. lethargic - started 2 weeks ago. ate ok. unk if laying eggs. still in gen pop. rest of chickens fine. now can barely walk or fly at all. drags itself on ground to food and doesn't eat. vent area a mess.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The Veterinarian will know if the bird will be able to digest that. What is the bird's name?
Customer: daisy
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Daisy?
Customer: same thing happened to another chicken 6 monyh ago
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

Two weeks of progressive worsening should prompt a poultry owner to cull Daisy. The likeliness of her being able to rally at this point is near nil.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site. Unfortunately, her progressive weakness/paralysis can indicate any number of illnesses or health issues in chickens but both Marek's disease (herpesvirus) and lymphoid leukosis should be important differential diagnoses when no other birds are affected; in other words, Daisy would expect to be non- or poorly infectious to others. In avian medicine, there's rarely one cause of such a presentation, so we usually begin with a list of differential diagnoses and use lab tests, X-rays, and physical exams to differentiate one from another. Necropsy of a newly dead or a sacrificed severely ill bird then refrigerated (not frozen) can be an important diagnostic particularly in large flocks. With this in mind, your best course of action is to reach out to your county-extension poultry personnel or avian-oriented veterinarian (please see here: www.aav.org) for help.

It's best to approach the diagnostic process with a clear sense of Daisy's financial value to your operation. Although some services such as your county animal disease diagnostic laboratory might be available free of charge through a county agency or land-grant extension office, the expense of some diagnostic tests and treatments can add up quickly. While it’s always worth your time and money to identify a bacterial or viral infection that could potentially impact more than one member of the flock, this might not be the case with a condition that only affects one hen. It frustrates me that I can't be more specific for you but such is the dilemma of poultry owners and vets alike.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

DrMichaelSalkin

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